Reflective Essay

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I am a senior staff nurse working in the Emergency Department in an Acute General Hospital in Singapore. I have been assigned by my senior nurse manage to mentor Susan, a third year student nurse. As Susan was observed to be underachieving, I aim to use the Gibbs reflective cycle (1988) to guide me to identify the issues that have arisen during the placement and plan strategies to help Susan achieve her expected competencies at this stage of her clinical placement. Upon completion of the reflective cycle, mentor should be able to come up with methods that can help to resolve the student’s identified problems. It is important that windows of learning opportunities are created for reflection to be done and thus help both the mentor and mentee for future progression.

Stage 1: Description
Susan, a third year student nurse, is in her penultimate clinical placement of her three years training course. She had just reached the end of her second week of placement and has another four weeks to completion. The ward staff had observed that she was not entering patient’s vital signs, at times, into the system. The hospital uses the electronic system of entering patients’ charts. In addition, it appears that Susan did not inform any staff when there were abnormal readings, for example: there were two occasions where a raised temperature in a patient receiving blood transfusion and a head injury patient with an altered level of consciousness. Whilst having a weekly debriefing session as agreed during the first day of Susan’s clinical posting, the mentor was aware that Susan did fail to achieve the basic competency, which was required of her. The mentor had to stress to Susan on the importance of recording vital signs as it determines the patient’s prognosis. Thus, the mentor decided to develop an action plan (SMART) template (Kerry, 2012, & Appendix 3), to aid Susan’s progression.

Stage 2: Feelings
Given a mentor’s role, it was a concern to me that I...
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